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NIDA Notes Articles: Tobacco

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Studies Link Family of Genes to Nicotine Addiction

December 2009

Reports study results suggesting that genes for several acetylcholine receptor proteins influence early smoking responses and the likelihood of nicotine dependence.

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Nicotine Boosts Mood, Brain Dopamine Levels

November 2009

Highlights findings from a study showing that nicotine triggers a surge in levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain's main reward area for cigarette smokers.

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Smokers Who Quit May Have Genetic Advantage

November 2009

Describes research providing evidence that genes may influence how successful a person is in quitting smoking and which cessation technique may work best for them.

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Smoking and Drinking Continue to Decline, But Marijuana Stalls in Latest MTF Survey

October 2009

Highlights trends from a 2008 survey of teenage substance abuse, cigarette smoking and alcohol use and discusses the implications of these changing data.

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Ethnic Groups Have Contrasting Genetic Risks for Nicotine Addiction

October 2009

Describes research exploring differences and similarities in the genetic profiles of African-Americans and European-Americans who are heavy smokers.

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Lower Rates of Cigarette and Marijuana Smoking Among Exercising Teens

October 2009

Highlights prevalence rates of cigarette and marijuana smoking among teens who exercise regularly as compared with their less active peers.

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Intervention for Disruptive Children Shows Long-Term Benefits

October 2009

Reports on research providing evidence that teaching aggressive youngsters social coping skills reduces their chances of becoming substance abusers.

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Sensory Aspects of Smoking May Counter Bad Mood, Craving

October 2009

Describes study findings revealing that the act of smoking, apart from actual or expected nicotine delivery, may soothe a smoker's negative mood.

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Abstinent Smokers' Nicotinic Receptors Take More Than a Month to Normalize

October 2009

Describes research revealing that for up to 6 weeks after smokers quit, their brain cells have more nicotine-binding receptors than nonsmokers, which may explain the struggle to quit.

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Prenatal Nicotine Exposure May Damage Receptors That Influence Auditory Processing

April 2009

Reports on a series of animal experiments indicating that nicotine exposure during prenatal fetal development damages a set of receptors in the brain's auditory processing center.

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